Live Today, Plan For Tomorrow
â€œThoâ€™ much is taken, much abides; and thoâ€™
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.â€
Ulysses, Lord Alfred Tennyson.
Thirty years ago I didn’t have the same appreciation for that poem as I do today. Hell, my favorite poem back then was probably about the man from Nantucket whose “pal” was so long he could, well you get the point.
But that was then and this is now.
In those days I was a junior high school boy trying to figure out what the hell to do with myself and now I and I am just an older, larger version of that guy who is still trying to figure it out.
Except this time I have responsibilities that I cannot shirk and dreams that I accept cannot be realized. I am never going to be tall enough to overcome the dearth of talent that will prevent the Lakers from signing me to a contract.
But time works magic and wonders in many ways and there are other dreams that can come true. Some of them are more important to me, bigger and brighter than those the boy I was once had.
Or maybe that is just what I say now.
Songs of my HeartÂ & Soul
My heart and soul sing many songs and they are special to me for multiple reasons. Some of them are listed in the pages and posts of this blog and others are kept in silence to be mine alone or shared with just one other.
Been thinking about the poems listed here and trying not to focus upon the event I wrote about in Sometimes Fathers Fail, but the truth is I haven’t let it go, not yet.
I know what I want to do. I know what I want to see happen. I have a plan and now we have reached the moment where it is time to execute it but so much depends upon my girl.
She doesn’t have all of the control here, certainly not as much as she thinks, but she has plenty.
When I think about the look on my daughter’s face and the anger it brought out in me I just shake my head.
Her older brother is incensed and has told me twice he will help me take care of this. That makes me smile and is one of those things that makes my heart sing.
We Did Something Right
What I love about his comments is how determined he is to protect his sister. He is like many older brothers, happy to torture and torment her but unwilling to let others do it.
Today we made a quick run to Costco and I watched them look out for each other. They didn’t see me intentionally slip around a corner where I could watch them.
I was 30 feet away, not quite close enough to hear what they were saying but close enough to see all they did. Close enough to see them get samples for each other and watch them decide where to go to find me.
That made me happy. If G-d forbid something happened to their mom and I there is no doubt in my mind they will stick together. Sometimes when they fight I remind them that in 100 years it will be just them so they need to get along now.
Last week my son asked me if I thought I could live to 143 and I said sure. If my grandparents and great grandparents provide any guidance I’ll make it into my nineties with my eyes shut.
Live Today, Plan For Tomorrow
I am doing my best to live the kind of life I want to live now and not tomorrow. Math and science says there is every reason for me to be here for the long run and that my prediction from above is accurate.
Yet experience has shown me that sometimes things happen. Sometimes the inexplicable bites you in the butt which is why I am doing my best to live today and plan for tomorrow.
Sometimes I think that I am taking the long way home and that I have been on one hell of a walkabout to learn a few lessons so that I could end up where I have long suspected I might.
Time will tell if I am right or wrong about that, but if nothing else it should make for one hell of a story.
Jens P. Berget November 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm
Great advice Jack. I believe a lot of people forget to live today. Busy times keep messing with people’s minds. Every single time I’m out with my friends, they spend more time on their cell phones than actually talking to each other 🙂
Jack November 21, 2012 at 12:51 am
Life is too short to live to work. I want to have time to enjoy the magic and the moments. It is part of why I have begun turning off my phone when I hang out with friends.
If I leave it on I will check it.
Jens P. Berget November 21, 2012 at 12:52 am
Me too. I actually only have it on when I’m at work, and even then I am turning it off when I need to get work done 🙂
Kenya G. Johnson November 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm
Hey Jack, I gave you a shout on on my blog today. You left a comment a few weeks ago that stuck like glue 😉
Maybe in our next life you will be tall enough to play for The Lakers and I’ll still want to be a writer, but one who can dance and sing too.
Enjoyed your post today.
Jack November 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm
In our next lives my goal is for us to be completely satisfied doing whatever it is we do. Don’t know if it will happen or if we’ll remember this one, but what the hell.
Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.
Sue Neal November 20, 2012 at 10:13 am
I think that’s sound philosophy, Jack – live for today as if it might be your last (which it might!), by all means plan for tomorrow but don’t bank on things turning out the way you want them to – and don’t be so preoccupied with all that advance planning that you miss out on today altogether.
If our lives really are reduced to ‘what happens while we’re busy making other plans’, that’s a sad waste. It’s so easy to fall into that trap, though.
Thanks for reminding me to seize the day!
Jack November 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm
It is hard to remember to seize the day. We are all so busy running around doing the “little things” that it is easy to forget about things that matter more.
I include myself because it is something that I often have to remember to do. I just don’t want to fall into the trap of never remembering to stop and enjoy the moments.
Sue Neal November 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm
You’re right, Jack, it’s very hard – so worth the effort to keep trying, though. And knowing that trap’s there is half the battle won.
Betsy Cross November 20, 2012 at 3:51 am
I think the key is being grateful for today, and trusting that that same approach will work to ground us tomorrow as the unexpected and inexplicable bites us in the butt!”
Jack November 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm
Gratitude is the attitude I am trying to adopt.
Betsy Cross November 21, 2012 at 1:32 am
Jack, I don’t think it’s a big deal, but thought maybe you could explain why comment replies never come through my email anymore. But this one did! Maybe I have to be signed into something to get replies? Anyways, thanks!